Spartans! What is your profession?
PHC staffer Ella Schovanec is on the Radio Romance Tour with Garrison, Fred Newman, Aoife O'Donovan, Sara Watkins, and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and will update us periodically from the road.
We went to Michigan State University on Sunday and did the show from the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts. Football is big there, the Spartans, and Garrison sang the MSU fight song during the Powdermilk Biscuit Break, and got a huge cheer from the audience. I found out that in Spartan Stadium they're big fans of the film 300 with Gerard Butler and there's a line from the movie they use during the games. They play a clip of King Leonidas saying, "Spartans! What is your profession?" And the audience responds "Har-oh! Har-oh! Har-oh!" Fred did this during the show — right before his character was tackled by some MSU linebackers.
MSU is a huge land grant university. I ventured across campus to glimpse the enormous stadium — it can hold more than 80,000 people and has been described as a "snake pit" during the games. There was a drum corps practicing outside with military precision. It gave me a tinge of regret, personally, as a middle school percussion drop out. I feel the same when I see Peter Johnson behind his drum set. He is an amazingly talented drummer, and songwriter, too. I see him with a wood block propped on the bass drum and a washboard at his side. So cool. And I'm so glad people like him exist to give us some rhythm.